Guoxin C. Qihang C.
Guoxin C., Qihang C. A STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MEDIA FROM A SEMIOTIC PERSPECTIVE - THE EXAMPLE OF DIGITAL CINEMA // Universum: филология и искусствоведение : электрон. научн. журн. 2023. 4(106). URL: https://7universum.com/ru/philology/archive/item/15296 (дата обращения: 04.12.2023).
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Digital media is a combination and evolution of art and culture, and is one of the most intuitive expressions of modern technology the development of applied to entertainment life. Digital media are characterised by digitisation and virtualisation. They are mainly used for online distribution. Digital media technology is also about combining art and technology, using their diverse forms of expression and drawing on new media, science and technology to better present art culture to a wider audience. Digital media has the advantages of wide reach and rapid dissemination. With digital technology, people are able to communicate their emotions and ideas better, and this is the best expression of the application of technological developments to the arts. It can also be said that this digital medium is a special kind of symbol, which has the characteristics of plurality of referents and referents, self-referentiality, other-referentiality, implicit, direct and indirect. Through these characteristics, we are able to gain a deeper understanding of digital film and television art and draw out the characteristics and aesthetics at each level of expression, at the level of technology, artistic expression and interaction.


Цифровые средства коммуникации - это сочетание и эволюция искусства и культуры, а также одни из наиболее интуитивных выражений развития современных технологий, применяемых в индустрии развлечений. Цифровые средства коммуникации характеризуются оцифровкой и виртуализацией. В основном они используются для онлайн-распространения. Цифровые мультимедийные технологии также предполагают объединение искусства и технологий, использование их разнообразных форм самовыражения и привлечение новых носителей информации, науки и техники для лучшего представления художественной культуры более широкой аудитории. Цифровые средства коммуникации обладают преимуществами широкого охвата и быстрого распространения. Благодаря цифровым технологиям люди могут выражать свои эмоции и идеи, это лучший способ применения технологических разработок в искусстве. Можно отметить, что данный цифровой носитель представляет собой особый вид символа, который обладает характеристиками множественности референтов и референтных единиц, самореферентности, инореферентности, имплицитной, прямой и косвенной. Благодаря этим характеристикам мы получаем более глубокое понимание цифрового киноискусства и телевизионного искусства, и можем определить характеристики, а также эстетику на каждом уровне самовыражения, на уровне технологий, художественного самовыражения и взаимодействия.


Keywords: semiotics, new media art, film and television media, art culture.

Ключевые слова: семиотика, новое медиаискусство, кино- и телевизионные медиа, художественная культура.


I. Semiotics Overview

Semiotics takes signs as the object of study and the nature, function, meaning and laws of change of signs and their relationship to people’s lives as the intrinsic content of research; it is a discipline that is both deeply theoretical and highly applied. The sign is a central element of semiotics, defined by the American semiotician Morris as having multiple meanings. In another way, symbols are ‘perceptible objects’ with their corresponding meanings [1]. There are many different types of symbols and they can be categorised differently using different classification criteria. For example, starting with the senses, what is heard, seen, heard and felt can be defined as symbols. The role of symbols is to refer and denote, to regulate and display, to think and perceive, etc. Randomness and convention are two important properties of symbols, which have different combinations of forms [3]. The implicit system of conformity and the laws of composition make f-symbols widely used in everyday life and show a generational character.

The 20th century was a formative period for modern semiotics, but the development of semiotics took a longer course than the 20th century. From ancient Greek times, Aristotle analysed linguistic signs from a logical point of view, stating in his Treatise on Instruments - Interpretation that ‘language is a sign of the experience of the mind, and words are a substitute for it.’ At the beginning of the 20th century, the Swedish linguist Saussure and the American philosopher Peirce studied signs from two different perspectives: on the one hand, they regarded language as a system of signs and established a dualistic model of the referent and the referee of signs; [3]  on the other hand, they based the concept of signs on logic and phenomenology, focusing on the cognition and logic of signs, and on this basis they proposed the triadic theory of signs as ‘medium’, ‘pointing object’ and ‘interpretation.’ A complete symbol consists of two parts: the energetic and the referential. The referent is a symbol, a language, a word, a pattern. The referent of the symbol, on the other hand, is the meaning of the symbol itself and the meaning implied in it. The evolution of symbols is actually an expansion of their meaning. It is the transformation from the form of the symbol to the meaning of the symbol.

II. Semiotics and Film Semiotics

In the West, the theory of symbols has been interpreted in many ways, and this research is referred to as symbolic theory. It is a new subject, introduced in a lecture at a college in Geneva, called ‘semiotics’, proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure. He divided semiotics into many categories, and language, as a branch of semiotics, is a rapidly developing science that has been studied by many scholars from many angles because of its wide range of applications. Language is an abstract symbol that includes both speech and writing [4].

In the mid-20th century, the famous French film critic Christian Metz established the ‘semiotics of cinema’ based on semiotics. He refined the connotations of film’s symbolic representation on a deeper level, breaking with the traditional theory of film language of Bazin and the montage realists, who saw film as a symbolic system. Central to the study of film semiotics is the representation of film as a unique system of symbols. The images, colours and sounds in film are all symbols that convey the meaning of the film [2]. Although cinematic representation differs from that in life, what it represents has a character that can give cinema a special meaning, just as language does in life. [4] In modern times, the emergence of ‘film semiotics’ has had a significant impact on Western theories of film innovation. In the early 1970s, [2] Metz redefined the concept of ‘cinematic language’ and called it ‘cinema-specific code.’ It also divides ‘cinematic symbols’ into two main categories such as ‘cinematic connotations’ and ‘cinematic extrapolations.’

Peirce reduces the theory of signs discussed in this essay to three types such as ‘likeness signs’, ‘indication signs’, and ‘statute signs.’ Zhao Yiheng suggests that these three symbols correspond to ‘likeness’, ‘indication’ and ‘statute.’ Although the indicative comes second in the list of these three symbols, it is the most original of them all. It is our first contact with the world, an expression of the ‘I’ consciousness that exists between heaven and earth, an expression of the connection between symbols and things, and an indication that meaning is fundamental to symbols. Because the images that appear in a film usually have some kind of meaning, we can say that film symbols are the essence of the film.

III. Interpreting the semiotics of figuration and representation in digital film and video art

The semiotics of figuration and representation in digital film and video art refer to the ways in which artists use images and symbols to convey meaning and express ideas in their work. Digital film and video art often incorporate elements of traditional film and video techniques, such as camera angles, lighting, and sound, but also utilize new technologies and software to create complex and layered visual experiences.

Figuration in digital film and video art refers to the use of images or representations of people, animals, objects, or other recognizable forms. These figurative elements can be used in a realistic or abstract manner and can be manipulated and transformed using digital tools. The choice of figurative elements can convey specific meanings or emotions to the viewer.

Representation in digital film and video art refers to the way in which artists depict or portray specific ideas, concepts, or themes in their work. This can be achieved through the use of figurative elements, as well as through other visual and auditory elements such as color, texture, movement, and sound.

The interpretation of the semiotics of figuration and representation in digital film and video art is subjective and can vary depending on the viewer’s individual experiences and cultural background [1]. However, some common themes and symbols can be identified, such as the use of the human body, nature, technology, and the intersection of these elements.

Overall, the semiotics of figuration and representation in digital film and video art are complex and multifaceted, reflecting the diversity of perspectives and experiences that artists bring to their work. Through the use of new technologies and innovative techniques, digital film and video art continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in visual storytelling and expression.

IV. Digital Film and Video Art and Symbolic System Figurative Meaning

Digital film and video art are mediums that utilize technology to create visual narratives and explore different forms of expression.[3] In this context, symbolic systems play a crucial role in conveying meaning and communicating ideas to the audience.

Symbolic systems are essentially a set of visual or linguistic symbols that are used to represent abstract concepts, ideas, or emotions. These systems can be found in various forms of art, including film, video, painting, and sculpture. By employing symbolic systems, artists can communicate complex ideas and emotions in a way that is more accessible to the audience.

In digital film and video art, symbolic systems can take many forms. For example, color can be used to represent different emotions or moods. The use of light and shadow can create a sense of depth and atmosphere. Sound design can be used to create mood and emotion, as well as to convey information.

One of the most important aspects of symbolic systems in digital film and video art is their ability to create figurative meaning. Figurative meaning refers to the use of language or images to represent something that is not directly stated. For example, a filmmaker might use a particular color to represent a character’s emotional state, or use a specific camera angle to create a sense of tension or suspense.

Figurative meaning can also be created through the use of symbolism. Symbols are visual representations of abstract concepts or ideas [5]. For example, a dove might be used to represent peace, or a snake might be used to represent temptation.

In digital film and video art, the use of symbolic systems and figurative meaning can be particularly powerful. By combining different elements of symbolism, filmmakers can create complex narratives that explore a wide range of themes and ideas. This can result in a rich and immersive viewing experience that engages the audience on multiple levels.

V. Semiotics and Digital Art Creation in a New Era

Many artists who work with digital media art add some emotion, a subjective point of view or a certain meaning of the mind to their work. For example, some subconscious, embarrassing emotions, absurd ideas, theories that go against others, etc. This allows people to watch with the appropriate psychological emotions, such as: happiness, sadness, involvement, curiosity, etc. Therefore, many creators use this to create the corresponding artistic images. Different materials and different creative perspectives bring different expressions to digital art and bring different social reactions [5]. In addition, digital media are characterised by 'interactivity', 'virtuality', 'dynamic generation', 'discontinuity' and 'spatial and temporal transcendence'. This interactive media technology (e.g. 'virtual reality', etc.) transforms the audience from passive to active participants, thus increasing the audience's involvement and enjoyment. From an interactive point of view, digital media can be expressed in a variety of ways, such as web art, virtual reality art, immersive interactive art and so on. What they all have in common is that the audience is constantly changing the image and form of the artwork as they interact with it, thus constantly changing the meaning to be expressed. The combination of the Internet and digital media has given it a carrying capacity beyond that of ordinary media, allowing two-way communication, a high degree of sharing and equality, transcending time and space [3]. This connection is therefore not simply a synthesis of artistic elements, but rather an 'interactive act' of experiencing a sense of beauty or pleasure.

.The Future Direction of Semiotics in The Digital Age

The digital age has brought significant changes to the field of semiotics, as new technologies and media have created new ways of communicating and expressing meaning. As such, the future direction of semiotics in the digital age is likely to continue to evolve and adapt to these changes.

One direction that semiotics is likely to take in the digital age is a more interdisciplinary approach, as digital technologies have blurred the boundaries between different fields of study such as art,[5]  design, and technology. Semiotics can play a key role in helping to navigate these interdisciplinary spaces by providing a framework for understanding and analyzing the meaning and significance of visual, auditory, and other types of communication.

Another direction for semiotics in the digital age is the expansion of the field beyond traditional cultural contexts. With the rise of global communication and social media platforms, semiotics can be applied to a wide range of cultural contexts, from popular culture to political discourse, to help understand how meaning is constructed and communicated across different cultures and communities.

Finally, the future direction of semiotics in the digital age is likely to involve a greater focus on the ethical implications of digital media and communication. As digital technologies continue to shape and influence our lives, semiotics can play a key role in identifying and analyzing the ways in which meaning is constructed and communicated, and the potential social and ethical implications of these processes.

In summary, the future direction of semiotics in the digital age is likely to involve a more interdisciplinary approach,[6] an expansion of the field beyond traditional cultural contexts, and a focus on the ethical implications of digital media and communication.


The creation and development of semiotics has greatly supported the development of digital media art, not only by providing material for the creation of digital media, but also by promoting the innovation of digital media art. It is foreseeable that with the continuous development of computer graphics, virtual reality technology, multi-channel interaction technology, multimedia technology and Internet technology, it will bring a more natural and humane way of interaction to digital media art, integrate it with the current technology and the general environment of the world, and become the mainstream trend of future art development.



  1. Jose G.Regional Indian Movies in Rs.100 Crore Club: A Semiotic Analysis of the Movie Posters[J]. Lydia.International Journal of Semiotics and Visual Rhetoric (IJSVR). Volume 6 , Issue 1 . 2023. PP 1-14
  2. Li Yang, Luo Xin (Robert), Li Kai et al. Exploring the spoiler effect in the digital age: Evidence from the movie industry[J]  Decision Support Systems, 2022, 157
  3. Byeong Ho Jeon Semiotics-Based Movie Meaning Evaluation  [J] ICCC Proceedings of the Korean Contents Association,2017
  4. Film (Adaptation) as Translation[J].  Patrick Cattrysse.  Target.  International Journal of Translation Studies. 1992(1)
  5. Li Yang, Luo Xin (Robert), Li Kai et al. Exploring the spoiler effect in the digital age: Evidence from the movie industry[J]  Decision Support Systems, 2022, 157
  6. Alfio Leotta ‘This isn’t a movie . . . it’s a tourism ad for Australia’: The Dundee campaign and the semiotics of audiovisual tourism promotion  [J] Tourist Studies,2020
Информация об авторах

PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia, Queensland

канд. наук, Университет Квинсленда, Австралия, г. Квинсленд

PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia, Queensland

канд. наук, Университет Квинсленда, Австралия, г. Квинсленд

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